Extra: Yue Qingyuan and Shen Qingqiu (Part 2)
This chapter is by Buri of BC Novels.
There were too many things and too many people that Shen Qingqiu despised.
If a man despises everything, he will inevitably have a terrible temperament. Fortunately, by the time he became Shen Qingqiu he had at least learnt how to keep his true nature under the surface.
Liu Qingge was, without a doubt, the person he most hated in Cang Qiong Sect.
Liu Qingge had been successful since he was young. He was outstandingly talented; he was gifted spiritually and his swordsmanship was matchless. As for his family, both of his parents were still alive and had an important role in society. And all of these things fueled his restless rage; any of it would be enough to make him toss and turn for three days and nights, let alone all of this weighing on him at once1.
For the Cang Qiong Sect’s Annual Twelve Peak Martial Arts Meeting, Shen Qingqiu’s opponent in battle had been Liu Qingge.
So, naturally, the outcome had been an indisputable loss.
It wasn’t truly shameful to lose to the future Bai Zhan Peak Lord; in fact it should be expected.
But such a thing would never cross Shen Qingqiu’s mind. In fact, he couldn’t even hear the others exclaiming in admiration at his ability to persevere for so long in such a fight; he could only see Liu Qingge’s arrogance as he, as nonchalant as ever, pointed his sword, Cheng Luan, at Shen Qingqiu’s throat.
Qing Jing Peak disciples took great pride in being men of noble character and great virtue. And while Shen Qingqiu took to playing this part of a virtuous man like a fish in water, Liu Qingge could always force his vicious side out. He simply refused to waste all his energy pretending to ‘get along with his fellow disciple’.
In fact, the words Shen Qingqiu would scream at him the most were something like, “Sooner or later I’ll kill you, Liu Qingge!”.
It was this exclamation that caused the young girl who was playing the pipa, already frightened, into rushing off in her thin garments.
Liu Qingge glanced at him and answered casually, “with your abilities?”
Only three words were said, but Shen Qingqiu could hear the ceaseless spite behind them. He turned his wrist and Yue Qingyuan, seeing that the situation was only going to get worse, pressed his elbow down stopping Shen Qingqiu from drawing his sword. He turned his head and ordered, “Liu-Shidi! Go back first.”
Liu Qingge didn’t seem interested in getting mixed up with him either; he sneered and left quickly. Only two people remained in the Warm Red Pavillion’s room. The contrast between them was stark: one disheveled and the other meticulously dressed.
Yue Qingyuan pushed Shen Qingqiu off the bed and exclaimed with clear exasperation, an emotion he wouldn’t show often: “how could you do this?”
To which Shen Qingqiu asked, “What did I do?”
Yue Qingyuan responded, “Two of Cang Qiong Sect’s head disciples get into a fight at a courtesan’s quarters. Do you think that’s pleasant to hear?”
Shen Qingqiu simply answered, “If you don’t mention it, I won’t either, so who’ll hear about it? The Cang Qiong Sect is the Cang Qiong Sect, what does it have to do with me? Which of its rules says their disciples aren’t allowed to come here? Cang Qiong isn’t a monk temple, what’s it to them if I search for the company of women? Shixiong, if you’re embarrassed over this make sure to keep Liu Qingge’s mouth shut.”
He was right. The Cang Qiong Sect had never stated such a rule. However, it was known that those who cultivate should understand the principle of keeping the heart pure to nourish their cultivation, and practice self-discipline by their own accord. Especially the head disciples of Qing Jing Peak who through the ages have always been known as clean and honest people. This common consensus had instead become an excuse that Shen Qingqiu used to argue for his point. His words made Yue Qingyuan choke, unable to retort, and stifling his indignation simply said “I won’t talk about it, neither will Liu-Shidi and the others. No one will know.”
“I’ll have to thank you all, then,” said Shen Qingqiu as he put on his boots.
“Don’t forget that engaging in feminine charms is harmful to the cultivation,” Yue Qingyuan warned.
Shen Qingqiu sneered, “Didn’t you hear your dear Liu-Shidi’s tone? With my abilities? They are already like this, I can’t damage them further.”
Yue Qingyuan was silent for a moment before saying, “Liu-Shidi isn’t a bad person, Shen-Shidi. He’s not against you, he acts the same way with everyone.”
Shen Qingqiu scoffed, “‘Oh does he’? Zhangmen-Shixiong, you shouldn’t try to fool me. Are you telling me he acts like this with you?”
“If you act kindly towards him once, he will repay you twofold, “ Yue Qingyuan patiently said.
“Zhangmen-Shixiong, you’re really understanding of others. But tell me, why hasn’t he shown me kindness first? Why didn’t he show mercy first? Why do I have to be the one to give in to him first?”
With him being that indifferent to any words of criticism and unapologetically unashamed of himself, it was hard for Yue Qingyuan to keep talking. He couldn’t simply tell him that if he hadn’t tried to use dirty tricks to cunningly attack the other and consequently embarrass him after their spar, Liu Qingge wouldn’t despise him now.
Shen Qingqiu pulled his robe over his shoulders, sheathed Xiu Yua and took two steps, before remembering something. He turned around and asked, “How did you know I’d be here? Who told you?”
“I went to Qing Jing Peak and couldn’t find you, but I saw the Bai Zhan Peak disciples getting ready to go up there.” said Yue Qingyuan.
“ To Qing Jing Peak? What were they going up there for?”
Shen Qingqiu sneered, “They were going there to try to ambush me, weren’t they?”
Even though Shen Qingqiu often clashed with the Bai Zhan Peak, this time the conflict had been truly unwarranted. A Bai Zhan disciple had gone out to a remote town for a mission and just so happened to catch sight of a familiar figure entering the Warm Red Pavillion, the largest brothel in town. Just like Liu Qingge, the others in Bai Zhan Peak weren’t big fans of Shen Qingqiu either. Seizing the opportunity, the disciple followed Shen Qingqiu immediately to mock him – he posed as all virtuous and noble everyday when he was actually coming in and out of this sort of place, disgracing the entire sect.
Shen Qingqiu beat him bloody for the few words he had the gall to say. After the disciple went back to Bai Zhan Peak he bumped into Liu Qingge, who, after knowing what happened, flew into a rage and immediately rushed over on his sword to even the score. If Yue Qingyuan hadn’t caught the Bai Zhan disciples going up to Qing Jing Peak to tear up Shen Qingqiu’s bamboo house, who knows just how much of this town the two of them would have managed to destroy.
Just by Yue Qingyuan’s silence Shen Qingqiu could imagine what the Bai Zhan Peak disciples had been up to, so he switched the topic, “What were you doing at the Qing Jing Peak? Didn’t I tell you before not to go there looking for me?”
“I just wanted to see how you were doing”, answered Yue Qingyuan.
To which Shen Qingqiu responded, “Yue-shixiong, I’m sorry for making you go through so much trouble. I’ve been fine. Fortunately the Qing Jing Peak Lord doesn’t seem to dislike me, despite me being such a despicable human being.”
Yue Qingyuan followed behind him and said, “If you have truly been fine, why don’t you spend a single night in the Qing Jing Peak?”
Shen Qingqiu gave him a dismal look. He knew Yue Qingyuan thought he was being shunned by the others back at the Qing Jing Peak.
Yue Qingyuan’s conjecture wasn’t groundless, but it wasn’t right. Shen Qingqiu wasn’t liked by his peers, but it didn’t go as far as to get kicked out of the sleeping quarters.
He just detested to be squeezed in with people of the same sex as him.
Back then Qiu Jianluo would often beat him up, so much so that at a certain point Shen could sense when he wanted to do it, so he would crawl away and hide trembling inside Qiu Haitang’s room. Qiu Jianluo didn’t want his younger sister to see his depraved side, so it was the only place Shen could hide and be safe.
At some point he had someone else he had trusted, an older girl whom he saw as a big sister. But, once she got old enough, she was sold to a shrivelled up old widower who had plans to marry her. And not so long after that they left the city and Shen Qingqiu never saw her again.
It wasn’t shameful at all to like women, but Shen Qingqiu knew very well how shameful it was to treat women as saviors and shrink into their arms looking for self-assurance. He would rather die than let others know about it, much less let Yue Qingyuan know about it.
Shen Qingqiu calmly said, “If I tell you I’m not doing good in the Qing Jing Peak, what would you do? Would you get me into Qiong Ding Peak just like when you stepped in to get me into Qing Jing Peak?”
Yue Qingyuan thought about it and answered seriously, “If that’s what you want.”
Shen Qingqiu snorted, “Of course it isn’t. I want to become the Head Disciple, would you give me that position? Would you let me become the Sect Leader?”
He concluded, “Qing Jing Peak is the second ranked peak of the twelve anyway, I’m better off waiting to get that seat.”
Yue Qingyuan sighed, “Why are you always like this, Xiao Jiu…?”
When he heard that name a shudder ran through his body and he became agitated beyond measure, “Don’t call me that!”
Among the Qing generation, Shen Qingqiu was considered quick-witted and resourceful and the Peak Lord was rather fond of him. Thus he was made his successor, despite him entering the sect later and not having a better foundation than to the others. After a Peak Lord gave his Head Disciple a name, the disciple’s original one was fully discarded.
Back then, when Qiu Jianluo would force him to learn how to read and write, Shen Jiu would refuse to study, deeply detesting it. Yet it was only thanks to his ability to read and learn the lessons by heart that his intelligence could now stand out amongst the others, gaining him the favour of the Qing Jing Peak Peak Lord. The bigger joke was that with so many names in the world the Peak Lord had ended up giving him the name “Qiu”.
No matter how laughable, or how it made him gnash his teeth, Shen Qingqiu wouldn’t turn it down. This name represented a new beginning: an opportunity to depart from his past.
Shen Qingqiu, putting his mind back in order, responded smiling, “Hearing that name just now made me upset. It has been so long I forgot about it. Please, Zhangmen-shixiong, forget about it too.”
Yue Qingyuan said, “Can I take it that the moment you willingly answer me after I called you this way, your anger will be gone?
“……” Shen Qingqiu sneered, “That will never happen. Yue Qingyuan, I’ll repeat it again: don’t let me hear that name again.”
In the end, Shen Qingqiu’s impatience won and he went up to the Qiong Ding Peak.
Shen Qingqiu was always avoiding going to Qiong Ding Peak and if he could he would rather not meet up with Yue Qingyuan.
And so, for this reason, the Annual Twelve Peak Martial Arts Meeting was always incredibly troublesome for him.
The twelve peaks of Cang Qiong Sect had a fixed rank that had nothing to do with the peak’s actual strength. The disciples, rather than ranked by their seniority, were ranked in the order by which the sect’s Peak Lords of the first generation originally made a name for themselves. Later generations of Peak Lords addressed each other according to those original ranks, instead of by the order by which they joined the sect. So, even if he entered the sect well after Liu Qingge, Qing Jing Peak was ranked second, only below Qiong Ding Peak, while Bai Zhan Peak was ranked seventh; and for this reason Liu Qingge had no choice but to grit his teeth and call him “shixiong”.
Yet, this ranking also meant that Qiong Ding and Qing Jing Peaks’ disciples would always be lined up next to each other, and the head disciples couldn’t help but stand next to each other.
Yue Qingyuan, who couldn’t catch him at any other time, would hold tight to this opportunity and ask him all sorts of questions; from important things like the progress of his cultivation, to minor ones like if he had been eating well or if he had warm clothes for the winter, he would just chatter on endlessly. But even if all the pestering got on his nerves, Shen Qingqiu wasn’t stupid enough to embarass the Sect Leader’s Head Disciple in public. Yue Qingyuan asked him twenty questions and he replied to one, distancing himself without being disrespectful. In his head, he’d run over the cultivation method he had read the night before and plan out different matters.
Every year, this was the funniest scene to watch in the martial arts meeting. The two of them might not be aware of it, but before the start of the meeting many disciples would just watch the two head disciples as one acted out of character and ignored the solemn silence around, whispering on and on, and the other remaining absent-minded, not even glancing at him and going “Hm. Hm. Ah. Ah.” This became the only entertainment during the tediously long opening speech.
So, when Shen Qingqiu took the initiative to go up to Qiong Ding Peak, Yue Qingyuan wasn’t the only one amazed, almost every disciple there wanted to beat some drums and gongs and call everyone to come watch the show.
But Shen Qingqiu had no intention of having a good chat and much less being a performance monkey for them. As soon as he asked for permission to go to the Lingxi caves he hurried away.
The Lingxi caves had an abundance of spiritual energy and were completely cut off from the outside world. As Shen Qingqiu stepped foot inside his expression became more and more overcast.
The time he spent wasting away under Qiu Jianluo and Wu Yanzi had severe effects over him that could not be disregarded
Yue Qingyuan was naturally the first one in the new generation of peak lords to form a golden core. Qi Qingqi and Liu Qingge broke through almost at the same time soon after. Even Shang Qinghua from An Ding Peak, that mediocre man, caught up to the others with great difficulty before officially taking his place.
The more anxious Shen Qingqiu was, the more stuck he became. He was on tenterhooks everyday, like he had swallowed down several pounds of cannon powder and they were burning up inside him into raging flames of fury. Looking like this, there was naturally no one who would dare to provoke him. Except that even if they didn’t provoke him, that didn’t mean Shen Qingqiu wouldn’t get ticked off by them..
Luo Binghe had clearly been using the faulty cultivation manual he had given him and because of that he should have long ago trained himself into shedding blood from every orifice, his body should’ve burst apart and he should have perished. However, not only did that not happen but his cultivation kept steadily increasing!
He had told Ning Yingying time and time again to stay far away from Luo Binghe, yet he caught sight of them whispering to each other everyday!
Shen Qingqiu was terribly suspicious, always thinking that everyone was going behind his back, talking about how he was incapable of forming a core, refusing to accept his position and secretly thinking of shady ways to replace him..
He was going into seclusion to the Lingxi Caves, now; he had to succeed at last.
As Shen Qingqiu sat on a stone platform, his mind was still full of disorderly thoughts and his body was covered in cold sweat as he tried to control himself in vain. His Qi became obstructed, his eyes dazed. The spiritual power in his veins suddenly started to run amok.
This wasn’t a trivial matter. He panicked, hurriedly sitting back and trying to control his thoughts. He suddenly felt someone approaching him from behind.
Shen Qingqiu’s hair stood on end. He quickly raised Xiu Ya, unsheathing it halfway and sharply exclaiming: “Who’s there?!”
A hand gently pressed down on his shoulder.
Shen Qingqiu didn’t say anything.
Yue Qingyuan kept transferring spiritual energy to him, in hopes of calming down the chaotic energy rampaging inside of him, “I’m sorry, Shidi. Your state of mind just now was unstable, I frightened you.”
Shen Qingqiu had just been scared because of his own delusions, which made him want to hear others expose it even less. He spoke angrily, “Frightened? Me?! Zhangmen Shixiong, isn’t it that you never come into seclusion at the Lingxi Caves? Why do you have to come snatch my place the minute I come here?!”
Yue Qingyuan said, “It’s not that I never came here… I’ve been here before, too.”
Shen Qingqiu was baffled, “Who cares if you’ve been here?”
Yue Qingyuan sighed, “Shidi, could you refrain from speaking and focus on calming down the transferred Qi?”
The light had gone out, but in the distance a faint flame was ignited. Shen Qingqiu had still been thinking of talking back before catching a clear view of the secluded cave he had picked. Horror seized him and he blurted out, “Did someone fight to death in here?”
There were traces all over the cave’s wall indicating it had been hacked at with a blade, like scars piled upon scars on a person’s face. It was ferocious and terrifying.
Yue Qingyuan said from behind him, “No. Fighting is allowed inside the Lingxi Caves.”
Other than the sword marks, there were also large areas stained with dark red blood.
Some seemed as if a sharp blade had been used to puncture a body making the blood spurt up. Others seemed as if someone once rammed their head on the rock to kowtow, begging for something time after time until it left a mark.
Shen Qingqiu stared at the nearly black bloodstains, “Then… Did someone die here?”
Yue Qingyuan had never before been as silent as this. When the two of them got together, usually Yue would do anything to chatter away. Shen Qingqiu was very much unused to such silence and goosebumps rose all over his body, “… Yue Qingyuan?”
Yue Qingyuan spoke, “I’m here.”
Shen Qingqiu said, “Then why didn’t you say anything?”
Yue Qingyuan said, “Maybe because I’m afraid shidi will find it annoying if I continue speaking?”
Shen Qingqiu snorted, “ Oh, so you finally realized you are extremely annoying?”
He didn’t want to return to the silence in the dark, so he had no choice but to reluctantly continue the topic, “I heard the Lingxi caves are sometimes used to confine disciples who went into Qi Deviation or sunk into evil. Do you think it was something like that?”
After a good while Yue Qingyuan uttered a faint “hm”, neither agreeing or disagreeing.
Shen Qingqiu felt put out by his answer. He stared with narrowed eyes at the wall for a while, before concluding, “Looks like they really wanted to get out. They struggled for quite a while before dying.”
If this was the blood of a single man and they hadn’t died, their life had at least been hanging by string.
Shen Qingqiu suddenly felt that Yue Qingyuan’s hand on his shoulder didn’t feel right. He was alarmed, “What’s wrong with you?”
A long while passed before Yue Qingyuan simply said, “Nothing.”
Shen Qingqiu shut up.
He couldn’t see Yue Qingyuan’s expression behind him, but he could feel him transfer his spiritual power through his hand; it was quivering faintly.
When Shen Qingqiu woke up, he could feel his wounds had been tended to. He no longer felt as if he was hanging between life and death nor did he feel the burning pain from before.
He opened his eyes with a struggle. There was a figure beside him kneeling on the ground. His head hung low as he examined Shen Qingqiu’s condition.
The black hem of his robe was spread out over the white stone floor, and he held down a simple and unadorned longsword. There were already several empty upturned medicine bottles around him.
The sword was Xuan Su. The person was of course Yue Qingyuan. His usually handsome and gentle face was now ashen and exhausted. Yue Qingyuan was the only one who would still come to see him at this point.
Shen Qingqiu opened his mouth, his voice sounding hoarse, “How did you get in here?”
Luo Binghe was fixated on not giving him a moment of respite, so why did he allow Yue Qingyuan to enter the Water Prison to help and give Shen Qingqiu some relief?
When Yue Qingyuan saw he could still speak he let out a sigh of relief. He held his hand and said in a low voice, “Don’t speak. Focus on gathering your Qi.”
He wanted to transmit his own spiritual energy to Shen Qingqiu to help heal his wounds faster. This time, Shen Qingqiu didn’t shake him off, because inside he thought: “That’s right, he’s still a Sect Leader. Luo Binghe and the old man from Hua Huan Palace are unyielding, but they also have to watch their reputation and show a little courtesy.”
Nevertheless, it must have cost him a lot to get in there.
The spiritual energy streamed through his wounds painfully almost as if a thick needle was stabbing through them. Shen Qingqiu clenched his teeth and bore it, hatefully laughing, “That little bastard Luo Binghe sure has quite a few tricks.”
Yue Qingyuan sighed when he heard the deep-rooted malice in his voice.
Yue Qingyuan wasn’t actually fond of sighing, but Shen Qingqiu would always inevitably put him in that sort of humour.
He said in an exhausted voice, “… Shidi. The situation has already reached this point and you still won’t ponder over your mistakes? Not even a little bit?”
Even if his teeth were knocked out, he would just swallow down the blood – Shen Qingqiu would never admit his mistakes. Especially if it was in front of Yue Qingyuan, where he would never consider yielding. Shen Qingqiu spoke viciously, “what were my mistakes? Zhangmen Shixiong, please tell me, is Luo Binghe not a bastard? You just wait. He won’t be satisfied with me alone. If in the future the cultivation world is swept in a storm by him, my only mistake would have been that i didn’t outright kill him in the first place.”
Yue Qingyuan shook his head. He had already expected this answer and hadn’t thought he’d be able to talk sense into him. Was there any point in admonishing him now? It was already useless.
He suddenly asked, “Did you really murder Liu-Shidi?”
Shen Qingqiu didn’t want to look at Yue Qingyuan’s face as he asked him that.
Yet he couldn’t help but raise his head and glimpse at his expression.
He paused before violently yanking his hand from Yue Qingyuan’s grip and sitting up.
Yue Qingyuan spoke, “You always used to say you’d kill him one day. Yet I never thought you really would.”
Shen Qingqiu asked coldly, “You are only thinking about this now? The dead are already dead, Zhangmeng Shixiong, you’re coming to criticize me now? Isn’t it already a bit too late? You are still thinking about sorting out the sect?”
“I’m not qualified to criticize you,” answered Yue Qingyuan.
Both his expression and his eyes looked extraordinarily peaceful. This serenity inexplicably shamed Shen Qingqiu into rage, “What do you mean by that?!”
“Shidi, have you ever considered it? If you hadn’t treated Luo Binghe the way you did back then, none of this would have happened.”
Shen Qingqiu couldn’t help but laugh.
“Zhangmen Shixiong, why are you blurting out such hysterical things right now? What happened, happened. I’ve ‘pondered over it’ more than a thousand times. There aren’t any ‘ifs’ or ‘back thens’ — there’s no way to fix it!”
Yue Qingyuan raised his head slightly.
Shen Qingqiu knew he was sticking a knife in his chest and at first he was endlessly delighted by it. But seeing him dazedly kneeling on the ground, looking blankly at him, his composed and calm appearance gone as if he had aged many years in the wink of an eye, a strange feeling rose in his heart.
It was most likely pity.
“Mount Tai collapsed but his expression didn’t change2.” That was the always calm and composed Cang Qiong’s Sect Leader Yue. But at that moment he cut such a sorry figure, so unguarded. He really invoked pity.
This pity suddenly dispersed all that had been pent up in Shen Qingqiu’s heart for so many years.
He had a happy thought: Yue Qingyuan had truly done everything that was humanly possible to help him.
Even if there was still some guilt in his heart, he should long ago have made up for it.
Shen Qingqiu spoke, “Leave. I’m telling you, even if everything was redone from the beginning, the outcome would be the same. My mind is frightening and cruel, filled with grudges. Luo Binghe doesn’t want me to have a peaceful death and I only have myself to blame for that.”
Yue Qingyuan asked, “Does your heart still hold resentment?”
Shen Qingqiu laughed loudly, “I want to see others down, only then will I be happy. What do you think?”
Yue Qingyuan lifted his sword with both of his hands handing it to him, “If there’s still resentment in you, unseath Xuan Su. Take my life.”
Shen Qingqiu tittered, “Sect Leader Yue, do you want me to kill you in here? Do you think the amount of charges Luo Binghe has against me are still not enough? What’s more, who do you think you are? Killing you will clear all the resentment in me? I am beyond redemption, I resent all. Please don’t blame me for mocking you, Sect Leader Yue. The way you’re acting like you’re a panacea is really blowing your own trumpet way too hard.”
He was openly humiliated, but Yue Qingyuan refused to listen to lower his hands. Instead he seemed to have gathered enough courage to call out to him, “Xiao Jiu, I…”
“Don’t call me that!” Shen Qingqiu shouted.
Yue Qingyuan took a long time to lower his hands. He held Shen Qingqiu’s hand once more, transferring his spiritual energy to alleviate the pain of his wounds.
It seemed his courage had scattered. Yue Qingyuan didn’t open his mouth to speak from then on.
Finally, Shen Qingqiu said, “Thank you for your kindness, Zhangmen Shixiong. Now go. Don’t appear before me again.”
Yue Qingyuan picked up Xuan Su once more, tying it to his waist. He then slowly walked away, as Shen Qingqiu had wished.
If you can escape the disaster, run as far away as you can, Sect Leader Yue.
From now on, never again entangle yourself with another creature like Shen Qingqiu.
Shen Qingqiu stared at the dungeon’s entrance with his one remaining eye. He didn’t know for how many days he had been staring at it when Luo Binghe finally came.
Even in the dark and damp dungeon, Luo Binghe looked as elegant and refined as always, unsoiled by a single speck of dust. As he walked, stepping on the condensed filth on the ground, he spoke, clear and elegant:
“Sect Leader Yue really did show up as agreed. I truly want to thank you, Shizun, for your beautiful grief-stricken, blood-written letter. Without it, this disciple of yours could never have succeeded so easily. Originally, I had thought of bringing back Sect Leader Yue’s corpse for you to see it, but what could be done? The arrows’ poison was too strong; when I approached and gave Sect Leader Yue a light touch, he… Ah, I was forced to bring back his sword instead, think of it as his remains, Shizun.”
Luo Binghe was certainly deceiving him.
Luo Binghe’s mouth was packed with lies, he was a treacherous and shameless little liar. This was surely another trick, some scheme to fool him.
Luo Binghe grabbed the chair beside him and sat down. That was the seat of honour from where he had watched Shen Qingqiu wailing and shrieking miserably in the past. He blew the steaming cup of tea he held, the tea leaves floating and sinking, and commented, “Xuan Su was a fine sword indeed, deserving of its heroic name. It was a good match for Sect Leader Yue. There is also something quite mysterious in this sword. Sect Leader Yue’s cultivation truly widened my view of the world, Shizun, you will be enjoying the remainder of your days here. If you are feeling bored, you can carefully ponder over this sword. It is truly fascinating.”
Shen Qingqiu didn’t understand.
After so long the two men had stood together in Huan Hua Palace’s Water Dungeon. Shen Qingqiu had been harsh and vicious, making cutting remarks as was his forte. He told Yue Qingyuan to leave and Yue Qingyuan had left. Shen Qingqiu didn’t think he would return because of the letter. Anyone who was thinking straight wouldn’t just walk into that undisguised trap.
He still didn’t understand.
There’s no way he would come, right?
Luo Binghe was quite satisfied with how the events unfolded. He smiled and said, “oh, that’s right; Shizun, your blood written letter was deeply moving, but it was scribbled much too sloppily. After all, you were under a lot of pain and just going through the motions for my sake, your disciple understands. So to show your sincerity, I especially enclosed two other things along with it.”
Shen Qingqiu understood it then. Those “other things” were the two legs that had once been his.
This was just hysterical.
Once he had waited day and night for that man to come for him and he never did. Now that he hadn’t wanted him to come for him at all that’s when he came.
The corners of Shen Qingqiu’s lips turned up in a cold smile, “Ah. Ahah. Yue Qingyuan, Yue Qingyuan, ah!”
Luo Binghe’s original joyful mood strangely soured when he heard him laugh.
“Why are you laughing?” he asked softly.
Shen Qingqiu took no notice of him, he just kept laughing. Luo Binghe’s proud expression disappeared and he fixed him with rapt attention as he said, “Do you think feigning madness will help you, Shen Qingqiu?”
Shen Qingqiu said each word markedly, “Luo Binghe. You’re a bastard, do you know that?”
There was a sudden silence.
Luo Binge stared at him and Shen Qingqiu stared straight back.
Suddenly, one corner of Luo Binghe’s lips ticked up. His right hand stroked Shen Qingqiu’s left shoulder. He squeezed it.
A blood-curdling, ear-piercing shriek resounded.
Blood gushed out of the ripped hole in Shen Qingqiu’s right arm like a waterfall. He screamed as he laughed, gasping for air as he spoke, “Luo binghe, ahahah… Luo Binghe, you…”
Cruelly abusing Shen Qingqiu was always a great pleasure for Binghe. Shen Qingqiu’s screams satisfied him to the point of ascension. Yet this time, for some unknown reason, Luo Binghe didn’t feel that joy.
His chest rose and fell in an increasingly ferocious way. He kicked Shen Qingqiu over, kicking him around the floor time and again until blood covered the ground.
Back when Luo Binghe had torn off his legs, it had also seemed as if he was just pulling off a bug’s legs. The pain that came after it was hellish, yet it didn’t feel real.
Contrary to what would be expected, Shen Qingqiu’s words were uncluttered and well enunciated, “Luo Binghe, all that you have today, you should bow to me for bestowing it to you. Why don’t you thank me? Can’t you see when someone does you good? You’re really an ungrateful bastard, ahahah…”
Luo Binghe’s fury simmered down suddenly. He smiled coldly and answered softly, “Do you want to die? Nothing I have was achieved easily. Shizun, your whole life has been steeped in immorality. You bring harm to those you resent and bear grudges against, and you bring harm even when you weren’t wronged and bear no hatred. You are already halfway to death’s door and you managed to bring along a sect leader. If you don’t die slowly and bear the suffering of all those people, how would it be fair to them?”
With a wave of his hand he threw the broken Xuan Su to the floor.
Hearing that sound, Shen Qingqiu laughter ceased abruptly, as if an invisible blade had severed it.
His hair was in a disarray, his face was covered with blood and there was a shine in his eye similar to a bright fire lit in the night. He trembled and shivered as he shifted towards the broken sword.
He was already dead.
Only this sword remained.
The Luo Binghe who stood in front of him was created by him alone. Was this ending also created by him?
Yue Qingyuan should never have had this sorry fate.
Because of a decades late old agreement he fulfilled that useless promise.
The sword is broken, the person is dead.
It shouldn’t be like this.
A thread of blood stretched out, moving closer until it was just about to meet another and tie. It missed and coiled back.
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- This chapter is by Buri of BC Novels.
- This is part 2 of 2.
- I cried a little bit when I read it again today.
- I posted the news on the front page of BC Novels but, in case you missed it, a new animation trailer for the Scum Villain adaptation (official English title is “Scumbag System”) has been released. Looks like might be out this summer.
- Thanks for reading.
- Each of the characteristics were things that drove him into a jealousy-induced rage. Liu Qingge had all of these things so add it all up into a massive hate fest.
- Quote from an essay,“心术”, by Su Xun (original 苏洵) who was a writer from the Song Dynasty. He is one of the Eight Masters of the Tang and Song. The quote is about remaining calm and unaffected by the outside world, even when faced with great turmoil. Here it confers this virtue to Yue Qingyuan, describing his usual temperament.